August 10, 2011
And the crowds asked Him (John the Baptist), "What then shall we do?" And He answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise." Luke 3:10-11
Unless you live in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and subscribe to the Lake Geneva News, you probably have never heard of Sal Dimiceli.
Let me tell you about Sal.
He is a 60-year-old real estate broker who writes a weekly column for folks who find themselves with their backs to the wall.
Folks from his area write him and tell him their story. Usually it is a story of desperate people who are trying hard, but just can't seem to make ends meet. No, we're not talking about the average Joe or Jane who finds things rough going.
Dimiceli helps folks who have had their utilities shut off, folks who've lost their jobs and have pawned their wedding rings.
As often as possible, Dimiceli investigates their stories. He visits with the people, he even opens their cupboards (he doesn't want to be conned by some smooth-talking charlatan). If their story checks out, he helps. Right away he gets the utilities turned on; he stocks their pantry; he gets their autos fixed.
Then Dimiceli hits up his network of like-minded helpers and tries to find a job for the needy folk, or he gets them financial counseling or he, well, you get the picture.
Folks, I've never met Sal Dimiceli and doubt if I ever will.
But I do like him. I like him because he's doing what John the Baptist suggested God's people should do, what the Savior said we should do.
Quite frankly he is doing what many Christians would like to do.
Having written that last line, it occurs to me that maybe it's time we got ready to do as Dimiceli is doing. All the reports I read say there may be more tough times coming. If that is so, there are going to be a lot of our friends and neighbors in need.
I mean a pawn-your-wedding-ring kind of need.
No, I'm not suggesting the church become a welfare agency. But I think that maybe in your future there may be a special case who, just once, could use a special hand up. If so, I hope you remember the example of Sal Dimiceli ...
and mostly remember your Savior who spent His entire life making sure your eternity would be different than that which you deserved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You decided to help me, to bail me out of a helpless situation. If You place someone in my path -- someone whom I can help -- grant me the wisdom to see the opportunity and respond in a way that is most appropriate. This I ask so I may glorify my Savior. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries